RB Coach Robert Gillespie Out At Tennessee | Bonehead Picks

RB Coach Robert Gillespie No Longer At Tennessee

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The only holdover from Butch Jones’ staff at Tennessee is reportedly no longer on Jeremy Pruitt’s new staff, exactly one week after National Signing Day. Running backs coach Robert Gillespie is said to be parting ways with Tennessee after serving five years on the staff, all with Jones. Gillespie also served as recruiting coordinator and helped brought in the eighth best recruiting class in the SEC and 20th in the nation. With his presence gone, it leaves a question of who will develop the next top rusher in Knoxville.

Gillespie was responsible for developing Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara, which helped make the running game successful under Jones and had John Kelly rush for 778 yards and nine touchdowns during the downfall between head coaches. Sophomore Ty Chandler was most likely set to be the next starting back for the Volunteers come spring football, but would also have junior Carlin Fils-Aime to contend with since Kelly has now left early for the NFL Draft.

Gillespie is no stranger to the SEC, as he played for Steve Spurrier at Florida from 1998 to 2001 up to their final years with the Gators. In all four seasons, he rushed for 1,854 yards and 16 touchdowns and as running back is second all-time in receptions with 96 and receiving yards with 1,091. He ironically followed Spurrier to the Washington Redskins and served as graduate assistant in 2005 and officially became running backs coach the following season and later on helped Oklahoma State lead the Big XII in rushing offense in 2009.

Pruitt had someone to continue help develop his upcoming running backs with Chandler most likely leading the way, but now there are no Jones holdovers and must start over again. On top of that, he will need a strong recruiter for his 2019 class. With one running back recruited into the 2018 class, all running backs are starting over again.

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